Over 200 participate in trekking camp in Bhaderwah
Bhaderwah/Jammu: Over 200 people, including 75 women, on Thursday joined a 10-day long trekking-cum-physical education camp being organised here in a bid to revive the adventure sports sector, which has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
The Directorate of Sports and Physical Education (DSPE), University of Jammu, in collaboration with the Army’s Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit based at Bhaderwah is organising the camp which will see the participants trekking between altitudes ranging from 10,000 and 13,500 feet, they said.
The trekking expedition to Hayan hills located in the mighty Kailash mountain range was flagged off by DSPE Director Dawood Iqbal Baba along with the commanding officer of the RR unit from Bhaderwah campus, marking the commencement of the first major physical activity in the region in last three years.
The tourism and sports sector were badly hit across Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019 when the centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.
The coronavirus lockdown and restrictions for months together did not allow full-fledged revival of the activities since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
The officials said the expedition is being led by the DSPE director and two officers of the Army and involves hikes to Kailash, Jaie and Kansar hills of Bhaderwah besides trekking to the mighty Ashapati glacier.
“The camp aims at inculcating the spirit of adventure and develop camaraderie among the youth and rekindle their spirit to take part in physical activities after prolonged hiatus forced by the pandemic,” Baba told PTI after flagging off the ceremony.
He said the camp was also aimed at bringing adventure tourism back on track after it got badly hit over the last three years.
The camp has come as a big relief for adventure sports lovers who expressed their happiness and thanked the organisers.
“As a sportsperson, it is very difficult and nerve-wracking to sit idle and do no physical activity for such a long period. We were frustrated and feeling depressed now, we are happy as we can perform rigorous physical activities that too in the lap of nature,” Mitali Manhas (24), national kabaddi player from Jammu, said.
Afreen Wani, a Masters of Physical Education student from Jammu University, said besides relieving the nerves from the pandemic stress, her motive to join the trekking expedition was to set an example for people, especially the youth, to restart their normal life.
However, she stressed the need to follow all standard operating procedures issued by the government from time to time to avoid the third wave of COVID-19.
External Relation Officer, Bhaderwah campus, Aarif Khateeb said those taking part in the camp include 180 students from the physical education department of the university besides 20 staff members. (PTI)